“Even though I pay me road tax, they treat me like a clown”

novelty pothole UK car tax disc - with my addition

I’ve been forwarded a round robin email containing a pic of a tax disc holder with the words ‘Yes I’ve paid my tax now go fix some f•••••g pot holes.’ The email had clearly done the viral rounds: the subject line is Fwd: FW: FW: I want this Tax Disk Holder. The pic above has been Photoshopped with a certain movement’s logo…

Most motorists will neither know nor care that potholes can’t be fixed by paying ‘road tax’. Pleasingly, the tax disc – which is available on eBay and direct from the maker – doesn’t make the common mistake about ‘road tax’. The Facebook fan page even calls it ‘car tax’, although most of the fans have made the mental leap to linking ‘road tax’ and fixing potholes.

On that fan page I found a disturbing music video. Disturbing because the music video is of an Irish comedic singer and the refrain sears into your brain. The singer – Seamus Moore – now runs a pub in Middlesex (he was done for drink driving in his homeland) but his music is set in Ireland.

His ‘Pothole Song’ makes no reference to CTC’s ‘Fill that Hole’ campaign but does fall for the classic ‘road tax’ mistake:

“When you go out driving make sure and fit a spare. Me little back suspension was bobbing up and down. Even though I pay me road tax, they treat me like a clown.”

Ah, but as the song is set in ‘holey Eire’ it could be accurate about Ireland’s way of paying for roads? Nope. Irish roads are paid for out of general taxation, just like in the UK. Ireland’s version of car tax is ‘motor tax’. It’s not a ‘graduated vehicle excise duty’, based on CO2 emissions, it’s based on engine size.